Burger King has a long history of disastrous alliances with ad agencies that just can’t seem to get a grasp of this whole fast-food thing. Despite being named one of the “top 3 industry-changing advertisers within the last three decades” by AdWeek, BK has – via their agencies – provided us with such industry-changing ad campaigns as Herb the Nerd, the Whopper virgin and Dr. Angus.
That creepy, voyeuristic, big-headed clown they’re currently using as a mascot is bad enough. But now we’re being subjected to a campaign combining a children’s cartoon character – SpongeBob SquarePants – with a remix of a sex rap – Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” – in an attempt to sell BK’s 99-cent SpongeBob Kids Meal. It closes with the rapper himself stating, “Booty is booty.”
Seriously? Do the creative geniuses at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, not to mention the Burger King Corporation, think this is appropriate by any definition?
The objections started pouring in after the ad ran during the NCAA men’s basketball championship and other programming in early April. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is demanding Nickelodeon and Burger King pull the ad immediately, saying BK apparently cares little about the children they’re targeting and that the ad “promotes objectified, sexualized images of women.”
BK’s response is that the ad is targeted to adults, requires an adult meal purchase and that the ad ran during adult programming.
Yeah, right. Will the next BK campaign feature a happy meal with condoms?